among white tussocks a sun-doped song-thrush
spreads her wings / and opens her feathers / to be ant-cleaned
nearby shallow ponds and pools are alive with
wriggling larvae and fast
on the valley slopes
acres of cotton grass lie
like patches of grey frost
fawn-white smoke heaps upwards
into the blue-on blue sky
three buzzards circle above this latest heath fire
ready to plunge onto whatever flees
a bulked-out fireman places his feet
with a dancer’s precision
over here each tree stump has its hat
of shrunk-dried yellow moss
or a single basking lizard
. . . . mountains two-dimensional cut through summer’s haze / sky-reflected depths
have mental meanderings as real as the here-and-now, as the unexpected / hasn’t happened, won’t happen, a lattice of thoughts pinned to a wall made of soap and sugar, ready to dissolve, before another concept satisfying as a baker’s knock / concatenation can only be in the eye of the beholder / haddocks to paddocks all ripped apart by a single blundering-in word, interior worlds demolished; and so comes a shout, an eruption from inner space, face stuck in that look of surprised anger that old men have when interrupted, forgetting what they were going to say . . . .
Every Other? Impoverished Pensioner
“..she’d die in peace with a self she no longer recognised.” D.F.Lewis
Having mistaken sentiment
for a motivating emotion
and taken in by national vanity
accepting of genocides
(while shocked by those murders
beloved of tabloid headlines)
having lived through a time
when most everyone expected
to be lied to
when each had to find
their own way to the truth
(she did start down those paths,
never got further than the moment)
having subsequently found herself
on all of history’s despised sides
has left her bent-backed
of every passing kindness
Slow walking within drift-by-drifting clouds
Tiny drops cling to cloth’s weave, settle upon leaves, stick to single grassblades. These mist-specks coalesce: hair and skin become more than wet, porous as paper. Edged everywhere by fading-in fading-out tree silhouettes, all is soft: branches, boughs, every oak trunk coated in lurid moss. Floor-creeping ivy wetly flickers and gleams. Away to one side the white water white-noise of a gushing stream. Nearby streamlets trickle and dribble, paths squelch.
Moving on, still within the drift-by-drifting clouds: here a fallen branch has a dotted ochre line of penny-flat fungi, next the iron-black boughs of a lone beech. An ivory light seems to glow out of lichen – clustered within the wiry stems of some ditchbank heather. The pine forest glistens green, holds onto cloud vapours and dense interiors. From needle ends come plops into long track puddles, each irregular drop a moment’s imperfect rings, mirror light wobbled.
When the rules
especially the petty rules
– who has sex with whom,
who owns what –
no longer apply
is when the new can become apparent.
In that unquiet thinking
– without certainty
inverse unsquared –
what sense then in
reading about reading
writing about writing
repainting a painting?
Our stale and weary art, tired of re-examining itself, crying out for renewal, revigoration.
Sam Smith -Poetry
About the contributor
Sam Smith is editor of The Journal (once 'of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry'), and publisher of Original Plus books. He has been a psychiatric nurse, residential social worker, milkman, plumber, laboratory analyst, groundsman, sailor, computer operator, scaffolder, gardener, painter & decorator........ working at anything, in fact, which paid the rent, enabled him to raise his three daughters and which didn’t get too much in the way of his writing. Now in his 70s he has ended up living in South Wales. He has several poetry collections and novels to his name, his latest two collections being Speculations & Changes (KFS Publishing) and Local Colour (Indigo Dreams); and his latest two novels Marraton (Indigo Dreams) and The Friendship of Dagda & Tinker Howth (united p.c. publisher).